Stressed Super Girls?

At the impressionable age of 11, when adult insecurities and expectations are starting to kick in, I developed anorexia bulimia.

It has taken me 18 years to get rid of it.

Eating disorders are intimately bound up with social expectations (girl power), psychological characteristics’ (intelligence, perfectionism), cultural trends (24 hours food) and the age old struggle to find your identity –

We’re having a bit of an explosion in the 21st century.

Everything’s coming all at once; and, it’s travelling with the lightening speed of the digital age.

Angst ridden teenage years are nothing new. It’s almost inevitable that the transition from the golden hued days of childhood to the realities – and responsibilities – of adulthood is a little fraught. The problem is, we may by living for longer – but we’re prematurely ageing: the move is happening before we’re ready; and, in a world that is far harder to manage.

In today’s media-ised and publicised society, the standards are a lot higher and the competition’s a lot tougher. We’re no longer just looking around us for inspiration and expectation: the whole world’s a stage – and it’s easy to feel like you’re being sidelined.

It’s unsurprising that we’re not dealing with it all that well –

There’s size zero on the catwalk, and academic ratings across the broadsheets, and school dinners debated on the TV, and a global recession stepping up the competition for jobs…

But an eating disorder is not the answer; and, we seem to be muddling thinness with a whole host of unrelated things….

I have lost my teenage years – and most of my twenties – and, it’s time we started back pedalling on these messages – because youth only comes round once.

This piece is a response to the daily mail’s article here.

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